Oil pulling is huge right now. It's basically the process of swishing coconut oil around your mouth and then spitting it out, and it works! Some studies suggest that it reduces oral bacteria by as much as 80%.
2. Know Your Meds
Certain medications can cause discoloration. Obviously, your health always comes first and you shouldn't stop taking a medication just because you’re worried about your teeth. But you can discuss alternatives with your doctor or limit OTC use.
Medications that can cause discoloration include:
- Some Antihistamines (including Benadryl)
- Hypertension Medications
3. Eat Fresh
Fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can work wonders for your oral hygiene as well as your overall health. As you chew you are constantly working your teeth and producing healthy enzymes, and because there are no harmful chemicals or refined sugars like you'll find in processed foods, there's no damage done to your teeth!
4. Deal with Your Reflux
If you suffer from severe acid reflux, a condition known as GERD, then it may be harming your teeth. For the majority of sufferers, the acid will not reach the throat, but in extreme cases it can pass the throat, causing dangerous levels of scarring and drastically increasing the acidity in their mouths.
5. Use a Teeth Whitening Kit
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on professional teeth whitening service as at-home kits like SNOW can do it all for a fraction of the price.
To understand why teeth whitening kits like this are important, you need to understand the different ways your teeth can stain. There are two types of dental stains, known as extrinsic and intrinsic. The former occurs on the enamel and can be eradicated by brushing. The latter occurs underneath and can only be eradicated using a whitening system.
In other words, proper brushing, a good diet and the other tips in this article can help to clean the enamel. But, if age, stains, medications, disease and many of the other factors involved with intrinsic staining have discolored the dentin underneath, only SNOW will help.
6. Brush Often and Brush Well
The average American brushes their teeth just once a day and for only 30 seconds at a time. Um...gross, right?
If you want whiter teeth and better oral hygiene in general, you need to brush at least twice a day and for at least 2 minutes at a time. This is where an electric toothbrush really comes in handy!
7. Use a Straw
One of the easiest ways to reduce the impact that sugars and colorants in drinks have on your teeth is to use a straw. This is great for soda, wine, cocktails, fruit juices and iced tea or coffee, bypassing your teeth completely while still allowing you to enjoy the drink.
8. Avoid Staining Foods and Drinks
We all know tobacco can really stain your teeth, but it's not the only thing. Tea, coffee, wine and many other liquids and foods can do the same.
You don’t necessarily need to stop consuming these things, but simply make sure you reduce your intake and that you brush shortly afterward.
Some of the biggest offenders include:
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Tomato Sauce
9. Clean Your Tongue
A dirty tongue may not have a direct impact on the whiteness of your teeth, but the bacteria that festers on your tongue can create an environment that is detrimental to your enamel and may increase the amount of plaque that forms there. Let's avoid that, shall we?
If you keep your teeth clean and use mouthwash regularly then your tongue should be relatively clean, but even then you may still need to brush it everyday or every other day.
10. Try Baking Soda
Whitening toothpastes can contain a whole host of chemicals, some of which may be causing you harm. If this worries you, then simply make your own toothpaste.
You just need a base of baking soda and water, to which you can then add everything from a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide to abrasives like rock salt.
11. Drink Plenty of Water
Not only will drinking water help to keep your body hydrated, benefiting everything from your liver and kidney health to your energy levels, but it can also help to improve oral hygiene. By drinking more water you’re helping to keep the acidity levels down in your mouth, which can come from consuming everything from coffee to vinegar and more.
12. Keep Your Toothbrush Clean
Do not leave your toothbrush open and exposed next to the toilet. Fecal bacteria can (and will) make its way onto the bristles which means… well, you don’t need me to paint that picture for you.
13. Be Careful with Acidic Food and Drinks
Apple cider vinegar is growing in popularity as a teeth whitening remedy and some sites are also recommending lemon oil and lemon juice. But while these things might help to kill some of the bacteria in your mouth, they will also hurt your enamel.
They are acidic, so it only makes sense. Anything that is that acidic should be used with extreme caution and while it is okay to drink or eat in moderation, it is not okay to rub against your teeth.
14. Change Your Toothbrush
Millions of Americans use the same toothbrush or the same toothbrush head for years, even though the bristles have lost their strength and are starting to fall out. America––what's up with all the gross brushing habits?
Not only is there an issue with bacteria (shall we revisit the toilet issue?) but those bristles will no longer be capable of doing their job.
Change your toothbrush or toothbrush head at least twice a year, preferably more.
15. Try Activated Charcoal
The jury is still out on whether this really works or not, but there are a lot of positive reviews out there and the signs are good. It’s safe and it’s cheap, so it’s worth a try at the very least!
16. Use A Whitening Toothpaste
A whitening toothpaste is designed to be ultra-abrasive so that it can scrub the plaque off your enamel and bring out the natural whiteness. They may cause damage if you use them excessively, so if you’re brushing more than twice a day then make sure you only brush once with a whitening toothpaste.
Every time you brush you need to floss, making sure you remove those little bits of trapped food. You can use wired floss or a water flosser, but if you’re using a water flosser you may still need some wired floss to get into those tight gaps.
18. Don’t Smoke
Smoking causes many problems, from cancer to heart disease, lung conditions, and yellowed skin. It can also stain your teeth and damage your gums, making it difficult for them to heal and leaving your teeth weak and your gums diseased.
19. Use Mouthwash
If you are using a fluoride toothpaste then use mouthwash before you brush, not after! Make sure you don’t rinse with water after you have finished brushing. This is a very common mistake! Again, totally guilty of this one myself.
20. Go Electric
I'm a huge supporter of the electric brushes. All my life I used a manual brush and I was anti-electric until my mom bought me one for Christmas... it makes all the difference in the world. Seriously, I'm shocked.
The commercials are not lying to you—most dentists do recommend them and studies suggest that they do clean better. It’s so much easier to clean your teeth properly using an electric toothbrush, especially if you buy one that tells you when you are brushing too hard.